Some books on algorithms are rigorous but incomplete; others cover masses of material but lack rigor. Introduction to Algorithms uniquely combines rigor and comprehensiveness. The book covers a broad range of algorithms in depth, yet makes their design and analysis accessible to all levels of readers. Each chapter is relatively self-contained and ...
Some books on algorithms are rigorous but incomplete; others cover masses of material but lack rigor. Introduction to Algorithms uniquely combines rigor and comprehensiveness. The book covers a broad range of algorithms in depth, yet makes their design and analysis accessible to all levels of readers. Each chapter is relatively self-contained and can be used as a unit of study. The algorithms are described in English and in a pseudocode designed to be readable by anyone who has done a little programming. The explanations have been kept elementary without sacrificing depth of coverage or mathematical rigor. The first edition became a widely used text in universities worldwide as well as the standard reference for professionals. The second edition featured new chapters on the role of algorithms, probabilistic analysis and randomized algorithms, and linear programming. The third edition has been revised and updated throughout. It includes two completely new chapters, on van Emde Boas trees and multithreaded algorithms, substantial additions to the chapter on recurrence (now called "Divide-and-Conquer"), and an appendix on matrices. It features improved treatment of dynamic programming and greedy algorithms and a new notion of edge-based flow in the material on flow networks. Many new exercises and problems have been added for this edition. As of the third edition, this textbook is published exclusively by the MIT Press.
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I have taught or taken three Algorithms courses from this same text and not covered everything in it. This is a great text for a first introduction into algorithms for undergraduates, a great text for a number of different upper level/graduate courses, and a great reference for the professional.
The subject matter is well chosen, well organized, and extremely well presented. The material is hard. There is no way around the fact that any introduction to algorithms will cause you to stretch your brain, but CLR presents everything in a clear way that you can follow.
The exercises progress from reasonable to very difficult. The more difficult exercises sometime include as much learning as the text. If you ever use this book, go to Cormen's website for an explanation of his bad jokes. This stuff is much easier if you can keep your sense of humor.
Lastly, the pseudo code is presented in a consistent matter as is the nomenclature. Apparently the pseudo code is presented so well that some of the IEEE publications are considering making CLR pseudo code the standard for publication.
If this sounds like a glowing fan letter, it is. Buy this book. Buy it in hard cover because it is NOT going to go out of style.
PS: Buy the third edition. Some chapters are very much clearer than in the second edition. I have both but never even open my second edition.
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